A few weeks ago, I was enjoying some after dinner conversation with two friends. We were still seated around the table, and had ‘Later… with Jools Holland’ on TV for background music. A soulful singing voice on the TV cut right through the conversation and made everyone at the table turn around to look. The band name credit was already gone from the lower third of the screen, and I said to my friends, “who is this?!”
It was Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, and the song was S.O.B.
By time the blistering chorus kicked in, this band had three new devotees. This song is the kind of song every musician wished they wrote, sang with voice that that would be prized in any one of numerous genres, and backed by a band that filled the stage with skilled musicians. This was real music like I haven’t heard in a long time. It stands on its own in a way that additional production would wreck.
The official video is an homage to the final jailhouse scene from the Blues Brothers movie. A lesser band couldn’t have withstood the comparison, but these guys will make you want to get locked up with them. I’ll eat beans every night and drink out of a tin can if dinner comes with a set from Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats.
Fortunately, I don’t have to go to jail to see the band. I get to see them in the open-air bliss of the St. Augustine Amphitheatre in April. I never go to concerts due to a tremendous aversion to crowds, but this band is totally worth venturing out of my comfort zone to see. Whatever your favorite genre of music is, they’re worth stepping out of your comfort zone to check out, too.